A Look At Prop 23 Donations

Looking at the donations given in support of Proposition 23 is interesting. The top donor is a Texas-based oil company, Valero, which gave a total of $5,075,315. Last week, Valero gave $1 million, according to Maplight.org figures. The second largest donor is Tesoro, another Texas-based oil company, which gave a total of $2,040,637. Last week Tesoro gave $500,000.

The top donors in support of Proposition 23, after Valero and Tesoro, are all oil companies, except for two conservative organizations. One of the organizations, the Adam Smith Foundation, is Missouri-based. The other organization, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, is based in California.

Looking at the oil companies that are in the top donor category reveals that all but two of them (Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Tower Energy Group) are out-of-state companies. Both Occidental and Tower are Southern-California based, and gave a combined total of $500,000. Two of the oil companies are from Kansas: Flint Hills Resources and CVR Energy Inc. Marathon Petroleum Company LLC is based in Ohio, and World Oil Corp. is another Texas-based company.

The state with the most contributions in support of the proposition is Texas with $5,266,315, followed by California with $3,104,050, and Kansas with $1,000,000. The state which donated the most to oppose Proposition 23 is California, followed by Virginia and New York.

It must be noted that opponents of the proposition gave nearly three times as much as supporters, with $30.7 million for the opposition, and $10.7 million in support of it.

The top donor to the “No on 23” fund is Thomas Steyer, the Co-Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. The National Wildlife Federation comes in second with its $3,000,000 donation. Third place goes to John Doerr, the legendary Silicone Valley venture capitalist.

Below is a list of top donors supporting and opposing Proposition 23:


Oil companies:

  • Valero Services, Inc., $5,075,315 [Texas]
  • Tesoro Companies, $2,040,637 [Texas]
  • Flint Hills Resources, $1,000,000 [Kansas]
  • Marathon Petroleum Company LLC,    $500,000 [Ohio]
  • Occidental Petroleum Corp., $300,000 [California]
  • Tower Energy Group,   $200,000 [California]
  • CVR Energy Inc., $150,000 [Kansas]
  • National Petrochemical & Refiners Assoc., $100,000 [Washington, D.C.]
  • World Oil Corp., $100,000 [Texas]

Conservative organizations:

  • Adam Smith Foundation, $498,000 [Missouri]
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc., $102,568 [California]

By state:

  1. Texas, $5,266,315,
  2. California, $3,104,050
  3. Kansas, $1,000,000


  • Thomas Steyer, $5,049,000
  • National Wildlife Federation, $3,000,000
  • John & Ann Doerr, $2,100,000
  • The League of Conservation Voters, $1,250,000
  • Vinod Khosla, $1,037,267
  • James Cameron, $1,000,000
  • ClimateWorks Foundation, $900,000
  • Sierra Club, $835,890
  • The Nature Conservancy, $800,000
  • Bill Gates, $700,000
  • Green Tech Action Fund, $500,000
  • Pacific Gas & Electric, $500,000

By state:

  1. California, $21,567,634
  2. Virginia, $3,056,040
  3. New York, $1,970,616
Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

5 responses

  1. PROP 26 is just as destructive as PROP 23. Prop 26 is a treacherous, Big Oil rip-off, which “passes the buck” from oil corporation, clean-up fees to the taxpayer, who will pay the oil recycling fees, the materials hazards fees and other fees. If you do not understand the ambiguities and the intigues behind Prop 26, then, vote no. Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil are silent partners behind Prop 26. Power to the people.

  2. When the loudest objections to any candidacy or initiative are focused on vilifying its financial backers, this often indicates that its opponents’ arguments on its merits are weak.

    Vote yes on Prop 23 and suspend AB32.

    1. I disagree Wayne. In a world where anyone with enough dough can buy their way onto the ballot, understanding the motivations of the people who are paying for the ads is absolutely paramount.

  3. Jen, What about all the “green” firms supporting AB 32 that stand to make a mint off the backs of the tax-payers. Don’t forget that it is the consumer that pays in the end.

    Prop 23 leaves California with the toughest pollution laws in the nation, and among the toughest in the world.

    AB 32 does not target the pollution that causes health issues. It goes after global warming, but it can’t help global warming either.

    Proposition 23 seeks to suspend AB 32 to protect Califonia’s already shrinking economy.

    Texas is growing its economy at the same pace that California is shrinking its economy, and Texas has TRIPLE the wind powered electrical generation as California. Texas has no job killer global warming law.

    The enforcement of AB 32 will cause an economic disaster for California that will keep other states from passing such legislation, and probably do more harm for the cause than it will help the environment.

    Points to ponder on AB 32 / Prop 23:

    ° AB 32 is not a pollution law, it is a global warming law, but it won’t have any effect on global warming.

    ° CARB over-estimated diesel emmisions by 340%. What else have they over-estimated?

    ° Key CARB personnel caught lying about credentials and then failing to reveal this after it is discovered internally before AB 32 passed, until after AB 32 passed. What else are they lying about and with-holding?

    ° CARB has admitted that California alone cannot have an impact on reducing global warming and CO2 emissions, and that it will hurth the economy and cost jobs.

    ° US EPA acknowledges that US action alone will not impact the world CO2 levels;

    ° US EPA (11 July 2010) said that bills in Congress will not reduce the total use of gas and oil of 20 million gallons per day for decades.

    ° LAO (CA Legislative Analyst Office) stated: CA economy at large will be adversely affected by implementation of climate-related policies that are not in place elsewhere. (Letter to Dan Logue, 13 May 2010)

    ° 5.5% unemployment for 4 consecutive quarters has occurred 7 times since 2005, 14 times since 1999, and 22 times since 1987.

    California has lost over a hundred billion dollars in income and revenue due to businesses leaving just this year. California has over 2 million people unemployed, with another million on the chopping block if AB 32 is fully enforced.

    AB 32 supporters claim 500,000 jobs and an 80 billion dollar industry are at risk. Do the math! AB 32 can never hope to replace the jobs and income that it will cost us.

    When the loudest objections to any candidacy or initiative are focused on vilifying its financial backers, this often indicates that its opponents’ arguments on its merits are weak.

    If Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:

    •A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.

    •An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.

    •$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    •$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

    •A $1,000-$3,000 additional cost for a new car according to CARB and automaker studies.

    On top of all that, a study conducted for the California Small Business Roundtable found that AB 32 regulations would cost small business alone nearly $200 billion, and would result in more than 1 million lost jobs.

    The more I learn about AB 32, the more I fear it. It just gets worse. Please vote yes on Prop23.

    “”2 Guys on the Bay Area Transportation Board told the CARB people, “If you try to do what you are going to do(AB 32) we’ll have gas at $9.07 a gallon and we have freeway tolls at up to $4,500 a year to drive during rush hour.”

    “Part of the plan is to stop suburban development, get people to stop driving, make driving too expensive for people to live out there, force them to live in high-rises, condos, in the city.”

    For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way.

    The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.


    Vote yes on Prop 23 and suspend AB32.

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